Projections - Movie Reviews

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

Looking for Mr. Goodbar is like a Hersey bar with worms in it; it is well directed and beautifully acted, but the film is a dud.

It's time for producers and directors to make films that entertain.  In Goodbar, brutality, and all forms of sexual perversion are the main fair.  The quest of director Richard Brooks appears to be how low can he sink his leading lady into the mire of filth (roaches all over her apartment) and kinky sexual experiences.  Perhaps it is necessary to show her strained personality in that manner, but how many times must the audience watch to get the idea.

Diane Keaton who is remarkably effective as Theresa Dunn, a woman who cannot put her two lives together.  By day, she is a sensitive teacher of handicapped kids; by night she searches for strange lovers in bars.

Theresa as a child suffered from scoliosis which she inherited from her father's side of the family.  He cannot accept the fact that his genes brought about the disability and refuses to speak of it.  Theresa herself is under the impression that she is the victim of polio.

Falling short the film does not develop the cause effect of Theresa's childhood on her adult behavior.  Rather, it dwells solely on the effect, her dual life, not parental love and affection or the lack of it on children and their lives.  Loss of a secure childhood is pushed aside rather than stressed as the film's theme.

Theresa picks up one pervert after another until one stabs her to death during a sexual act in a brutal and bloody scene.  By the time she is killed and the film ends the viewer is so bored by the dull bed scenes and the downer atmosphere of the film he is happy for the end to come.

Despite a superb performance by Diane Keaton, Goodbar strikes out.  It is not satisfying entertainment.

Looking for Mr. Goodbar

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